This year, Patek Philippe expanded its Twenty~4 wardrobe with three new models: two Automatics — one in steel (with an on-trend olive-green sunburst dial) and one in rose gold (also with a rose-gold sunburst dial) — plus a new quartz “manchette” (cuff) version in rose gold (with a chocolate-brown dial), which hearkens back to its original look from 1999.
Back in those days, women’s watches tended to be downscaled versions of men’s models, perhaps with a sprinkling of diamonds on the bezels to up the femininity quotient. Twenty~4 broke that rule as Patek’s first collection designed just for her. It soon became a runaway success — and a modern classic.
Launched in steel and rose gold with a Deco-inspired cambered rectangular case, Twenty~4 sparkled with a light dusting of diamonds on the vertical sides of the bezel. The dial was subtly punctuated by single diamond hour markers, except at 12 and 6 o’clock, which were marked with oversize applied Roman numerals. The smooth and supple link bracelet featured a wide central link, making a bold, contemporary statement. As its name suggests, Twenty~4’s strong identity was aimed at active, modern women who wanted a watch that could pivot from work to weekend to a formal dinner without skipping a beat. A high-precision quartz movement eliminated the need for winding and setting — who had time for that?
Twenty~4 remained a quartz-only collection for almost two decades. But President Thierry Stern eventually felt women deserved a mechanical movement, too. In 2018, the Twenty~4 Automatic launched in the fashion capital of Milan, underscoring the importance of style, even with a substantial movement.
Surprisingly, the Automatic bears little resemblance to the quartz version. The 36 mm case is conventionally round and doesn’t shy away from the razzle-dazzle, with 160 Top Wesselton diamonds set in two staggered rows using a “dentelle” (lacework) technique.
The applied luminous Arabic numerals on the dial are strong and assertive, both day and night, while a date window is framed at 6 o’clock, adding a complication into the mix. The polished metal bracelet, however, is familiar, carrying on the spirit of the original but with a new, patented fold-over clasp. Despite the radical redesign, the Automatic also appears poised for any occasion — equally chic with jeans or a LBD.
Inside, the Caliber 324 S C self-winding movement (which Stern described at the unveiling as “one of the best in the world, the most accurate, most famous and one of the thinnest,”) bears all the hand-finished details one expects from Patek Philippe. And you can admire them all through the clear sapphire crystal case back.
Last year, Patek updated the steel quartz version with applied Arabic numerals replacing the Roman ones at 12 and 6 o’clock, further connecting the two ranges. Applied trapezoid hour indexes also replaced the diamond hour markers, but the sides of the bezel still glitter — particularly on the rose-gold version, which is set with more than half a carat.
Today’s Twenty~4 lets you have it your way with a choice of case shapes, dials and movements. In all, there are 12 variations, including nine Automatics in stainless steel and rose gold. Among them is an iced-out high-jewelry version lavishly frosted with 3,238 randomly set (aka snow-set) diamonds, weighing in at over 17 carats.
The quartz “manchette” offerings include a pair of stainless-steel models along with this year’s 18-k rose-gold model, bringing the collection full circle. While the latest look echoes its ancestor from two decades ago, it rhymes, rather than repeats, for a new generation.